Contemporary English Version
Don’t Criticize Others
14 Welcome all the Lord’s followers, even those whose faith is weak. Don’t criticize them for having beliefs that are different from yours. 2 Some think it is all right to eat anything, while those whose faith is weak will eat only vegetables. 3 But you should not criticize others for eating or for not eating. After all, God welcomes everyone. 4 What right do you have to criticize someone else’s servants? Only their Lord can decide if they are doing right, and the Lord will make sure that they do right.
5 Some of the Lord’s followers think one day is more important than another. Others think all days are the same. But each of you should make up your own mind. 6 Any followers who count one day more important than another day do it to honor their Lord. And any followers who eat meat give thanks to God, just like the ones who don’t eat meat.
7 Whether we live or die, it must be for God, rather than for ourselves. 8 Whether we live or die, it must be for the Lord. Alive or dead, we still belong to the Lord. 9 This is because Christ died and rose to life, so that he would be the Lord of the dead and of the living. 10 Why do you criticize other followers of the Lord? Why do you look down on them? The day is coming when God will judge all of us. 11 In the Scriptures God says,
“I swear by my very life
that everyone will kneel down
and praise my name!”
12 And so, each of us must give an account to God for what we do.
Don’t Cause Problems for Others
13 We must stop judging others. We must also make up our minds not to upset anyone’s faith. 14 The Lord Jesus has made it clear to me that God considers all foods fit to eat. But if you think some foods are unfit to eat, then for you they are not fit.
15 If you are hurting others by the foods you eat, you are not guided by love. Don’t let your appetite destroy someone Christ died for. 16 Don’t let your right to eat bring shame to Christ. 17 God’s kingdom isn’t about eating and drinking. It is about pleasing God, about living in peace, and about true happiness. All this comes from the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ in this way, you will please God and be respected by people. 19 We should try[a] to live at peace and help each other have a strong faith.
20 Don’t let your appetite destroy what God has done. All foods are fit to eat, but it is wrong to cause problems for others by what you eat. 21 It is best not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that causes problems for other followers of the Lord. 22 What you believe about these things should be kept between you and God. You are fortunate, if your actions don’t make you have doubts. 23 But if you do have doubts about what you eat, you are going against your beliefs. And you know that is wrong, because anything you do against your beliefs is sin.
- 14.19 We should try: Some manuscripts have “We try.”